The Spirit Himself tells us how it happens: “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1). The King James Version calls them “seducing spirits,” and that is just what they are.
They seduce our prodigals to believe a lie from the enemy.
The god of this age blinds them (2 Corinthians 4:3-4) in the same way he did Eve in the Garden of Eden: he injects their minds with lies mixed with just enough truth to make it seem feasible. He even tried this method on the Son of God, without success, of course, and he tries the same trick on the children of God.
I hear some common lies from prodigals or those who love them:
- The lie that God never did anything for them, especially when the Lord doesn’t answer their prayers quickly or in the way they want.
- The lie that God will do it for others, but not for them.
- The lie that God will not do what He says He will do.
- The lie that God will not punish sin the way He says He will.
- The lie that God is not who He says He is.
- The lie that there is no God.
- The lie that they are a god.
- The lie that hell isn’t real.
- The lie that a little sin won’t hurt.
- The lie that everyone else is doing it.
- The lie that truth is relative.
Maybe you can add lies to this list, lies you’ve heard the devil use, either on you or your prodigal.
When doubt is given way, place is given to the devil (Ephesians 4:27). Once he has a small entrance, he moves in and takes over bit by bit, blinding eyes and putting strongholds in place to keep them from returning to God.
Romans 1:18–32 describes this, even sounding progressive in the description:
- They “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (v. 18).
- “[A]lthough they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God” (v. 21).
- They were not thankful, “but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (v. 21).
- “Professing to be wise, they became fools” (v. 22).
- “They exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever” (v. 25).
- They know “the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death,” but they “not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them” (v. 32).
In the natural, the enemy preys on the young and weak. In the spiritual, Satan does the same thing.
Those strongholds may seem strong, or maybe even impenetrable, but we know the truth, that God is all-powerful, and what seems impossible is possible with Him
Jesus used the Word to win the victory over the lies. We can, too. We pray the Word over our prodigals, and the Lord tears down the strongholds. We stand on the promises of God’s Word, and the Lord Our Shepherd draws His lost sheep back to Himself.
Grant it, Lord, in Jesus’ name.